Cod Almighty | Article
by Tony Butcher
22 December 2003
The human octopus. "Flash" to his team-mates, unpronounceable to the tannoy announcers, he "gives something different" in the words of Paul Groves, the master of understatement. For dazzling Darren's arms are wicked and his legs are long; he has no idea in which direction his limbs are heading.
We keep being told that "big things are expected of Darren", though no-one ever defined what the thing is. Context is everything and standing next to David Soames makes anyone big, and comparison with Steve Livingstone makes anyone lithe, speedy and a goal machine.
Ah, shucks, that's cruel. He is capable of the sublime and of course the ridiculous, often in the same moment, but he does worry opponents, for he's impossible to predict. Well, he is from Doncaster.
He can be a scintillatingly sizzling shining son of South Yorkshire, or the Alf Ippititimus of Imperial Avenue. Does it matter which? Entertainment, if not satisfaction guaranteed, on his magical mystery tours across the turf. Roll up, roll up, step right this way... we love him but he only has 14 hours to control the ball.